I have found traditionally four types of authorities for the governing/ruling of the Jewish nation:

  • A Prophet (like Moses or Shmuel)
  • A Kohen Gadol (Pinchas)
  • Sanhedrin with Nessi
  • A King (Saul, David) (I would include Judges here for simplicity).

Throughout Jewish history until the destruction of the second Temple, the leadership wandered from one type to another - sometimes it was a prophet, sometimes Sanhedrin, sometimes a King etc even where the others were present.

I'm trying to imagine a theoretical, pure Halachic (Rambam based) Jewish state where all the 4 authorities are present, distinct and functioning (a prophet is not a king, or Kohen Gadol/the king is not the Nassi of the Sanhedrin).

What would be the leadership and the balance of power/authority/competence between them all, and who can override whom in what questions/realms?

For example, can a prophet or the Sanhedrin invalidate King's decree or King's execution of a מורד במלכות?

  • 1
    There are plenty of instances of all 4 of these things coinciding. Pretty much from Shaul until the 1st exile they did. – Daniel Dec 30 '18 at 15:06
  • All four are needed to expand the areas of the Azarah and Yerushalayim. Check out Shevuot 14a – Joel K Dec 30 '18 at 15:50
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    note that mashiach will be king, almost the greatest prophet, and the wiser than King Solomon: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/84499/603 – Menachem Dec 30 '18 at 16:21
  • @JoelK According to Rav Huna, perhaps, but according to Rav Nachman you only need one of them (ibid. 16a). Rambam does indeed pasken like Rav Huna (Beis HaBechirah 6:14), but quoting just the Mishnah itself isn't quite accurate. (Not to mention that according to Rav Nachman, who says you just need one of the things on the list, you don't necessarily need any of the things in the OP, as long as you have, say, Shirah.) – DonielF Dec 30 '18 at 18:05

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